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Is Football Really That Much Better Than Rugby?

Is football really that much better than rugby? Of course, football is America’s favorite contact sport – while Rugby Union is England’s – so which is truly the best of the best?

To help us decide, let’s take a look at the two top teams from each nation – the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, and England’s national rugby team, the Three Lions.

Each team has won their league’s top prize just once – the Philadelphia Eagles of course won the Super Bowl Championship this year, while England won the Rugby World Cup back in 2003 (though England have won the annual ‘Six Nations’ trophy 28 times). have searched far and wide to answer the question, collecting all the data on each team – from player stats, team performance, stadium capacity and everything in between. The results might surprise you!

Infographic: American Football vs. Rugby - NFL vs.English Rugby Union

There are some striking similarities between each team. For instance, the average age of players in the Eagles is 25, while the average age of England’s rugby team is 26. Both teams have an average player height of 6’2” – and their tallest players, Will Beatty of the Eagles and Courtney Lawes of the Three Lions, are both 6’6”.

Having said that, the Eagles are the larger team of the two – with an average weight of 240lb compared to England’s 227lb. Philly’s heaviest, Brandon Brooks, is an astounding 332lb, almost doubling the size of Jake Elliott, their lightest player at 170lb. The weight range of the England rugby team spans just 90lbs.

To put it in a slightly different perspective, you would need 1,358 Bald Eagles to measure up to the weight of the Philadelphia Eagles, while you’d need 3,885 red roses – the icon of the English team – to weigh up to their boys.

While England Rugby has a more impressive win record than our Eagles, Philadelphia has seen more individual performances take the spotlight than those across the pond. David Akers tallied up more points in his 11-year career – 1323 – than England’s superstar point-scorer Jonny Wilkinson scored in his 13 years donning the red rose – 1179.

So who really is the best? We’ll leave the ultimate decision up to you. Take a look at the numbers – who knows – maybe your next game day will see more ‘try scoring’ than touchdowns!

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